I spent my summer in Washington, DC at The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine as the Pharmaceutical Science Policy Intern. I worked on initiatives to reduce and replace animal testing in drug development. I had the privilege of speaking with leaders within regulatory agencies and cutting-edge biomedical companies as well animal advocates. I researched new technologies available as well as cultivated a deeper understanding of how implementing human biology based methods in drug testing will benefit humans and other animals.
The most startling statistic I learned while interning is that 95% of preclinical testing (animal testing) fails due to safety or efficacy concerns. Alternative methods to animal testing is the best choice in discovering safe treatments for patients as quickly as possible. I attended many conferences where the transition from animal testing to alternatives was at the forefront of discussion. I was able to deliver a public comment on behalf of the Physicians Committee at the National Toxicology Program Board of Scientific Counselors Meeting. Physicians Committee also works on preventive medicine initiatives. This organization promotes a vegan diet, which I agree wholeheartedly with. I attended the International Conference for Nutrition in Medicine, which was a three-day conference showcasing prominent plant based physicians, dieticians, and researchers. I met a few of my personal heroes and was lucky enough to get a few pictures. Throughout my internship, I volunteered at Food for Life classes, which the Physicians Committee offers to the community. These classes educate the public and provide attendees with a free meal. I had the best time this summer and I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to intern at a nonprofit whose mission completely aligns with my own.